Tuscany, Italy - 3 nights
Available May to October
This culinary experience will be like no other. Stay in an abbey in the Chianti region that dates back to the 11th century and has since been turned into a spectacular wine resort. The estate became popular many years ago when the owner became a famous author and cookbook writer. Now these residential cooking courses are held by a celebrated and renowned Italian chef and are taught in English in the spring, summer and autumn. Choose from a day or evening cooking class or our three night program where you will take four cooking classes and stay at this renowned property.
Three Night INTENSIVE COOKING Program
Enjoy an intensive residential course where you will be introduced to some of the most authentic traditional Tuscan dishes taught to you by an incredible and renowned chef. The course includes 4 cooking classes (two morning and two afternoon cooking classes), with three nights' accommodation at this spectacular property.
Each class will have a different menu and vegetarian and vegan menus are available upon request. From the typical “schiacciata”, a kind of flat bread flavored with extra virgin olive oil and salt - to the pasta, and meat and vegetable dishes - to the dessert - you will experience the unmistakable Tuscan tastes and flavours.
From 2pm to 6 pm: Guests can arrive on their own to the property or be picked up by us at the Florence train station at 4 pm. (pick up is an extra charge) Upon arrival guests are shown to their rooms and made comfortable.
At 8pm a welcome dinner is served in the restaurant.
Breakfast is served from 8 to 10am. At 10 am today you will have a guided tour of the beautiful abbey on premises. Following this you have your first cooking class in the family kitchen. Participants will prepare a whole menu including bread and dessert which will be enjoyed accompanied by a selection of wines that best pair with the dishes.
After the lesson, you will enjoy lunch in the owner's private dining room.
In the afternoon some free time can be enjoyed by swimming in the large outdoor pool, strolling through the monumental renaissance gardens or by taking a leisurely walk in the beautiful forests which are criss-crossed by walking paths.
At 5:30pm you will have your second cooking lesson followed by dinner around 8pm.
Following a rich buffet breakfast, you will follow the same cooking schedule as above (two lessons, morning and afternoon).
Lessons will be followed with a meal of your fabulous creations.
Departure after breakfast by 10:30 am.
Buon viaggio and arriverderci!
Day Cooking Classes
A unique chance to learn classical regional Italian cuisine through a hands-on approach in our family kitchen. Lessons start at 10.30 am, and in 3 hours, guests will all work together to prepare a whole 4 course menu using only local and seasonal ingredients. After the cooking lesson, lunch is served in the beautiful owner’s private dining room, where guests will delve into their preparations while also tasting a selection of the world class organic wines produced at this famed wine estate. After lunch, it’s time to enjoy coffee and grappa in the living room.
The lessons are taught by a celebrated chef of Tuscan cuisine who is co-founder of a popular Florentine restaurant: with a perfect command of English, a natural easy going style and a hand’s on approach. Courses are usually held in English and/or Italian; upon request and for a minimum group of 6 persons, classes in French, Spanish, German, and Japanese translation can be arranged.
The day hands-on cooking classes can be held on any day as per clients' request, for individuals and groups from 10:00am to with a minimum of 6 persons. We may also be able to arrange a class beginning at 5pm or 5:30pm. Please inquire.
Program for the day
10.00am: Arrival and welcome with a tour of the Abbey and the wine cellars
10.30am: Beginning of the cooking course
1.30pm: Lunch in the private dining room, relax in the garden or in the fireplace room with coffee and grappa.
2.30/3.00: End of the activities
A minimum of 2 participants is required to run this tour and the tour is limited to a maximum of 15 participants (a minimum of 6 participants required for a non residential cooking class).
(The number of participants refers to how many persons are required to run the tour, not to how many persons you must have in your party.Please inquire.)
HOW TO ARRIVE
Closest Airports/Train Stations:
Florence Airport - 75km - 1 and 1/2 hour drive
Montevarchi Train Station - 25km - 20 minute drive
Distances from major Italian cities:
From Milan – 365 Km
From Rome – 262 Km
From Florence – 68 Km
From Arezzo – 55 Km
From Siena – 36 Km
The property has 8 double guest bedrooms all with ensuite bathroom. Each room has its own unique charm, in décor and style reflecting the elegance of the surroundings. We are able to organize a late arrival since the housekeepers live on site.
*These details are provided as additional information. Please check below to see if transfers are included with this tour.
THREE NIGHT PROGRAM
Non cooking partner/US$725
NON RESIDENTIAL DAY COOKING CLASS/US$200
*Pricing may vary depending on market fluctuation
**There are 8 spacious and charming double bedrooms all with en-suite bathrooms (5 twin rooms/3 double rooms) as well as 2 single bedrooms which share a bathroom. Up to 18 people can be accommodated at any one time.
After availability is confirmed, a non-refundable deposit of US$350 for the residential course and the completed and submitted registration form will secure your reservation. Final payment is due in full no less than 90 days prior to program start date.
*Other dates may be available upon request for groups of 4 or more
THREE NIGHT PROGRAM
*Three (3) nights' accommodations in one of the eight double guest bedrooms (daily cleaning) Or twin upon request
*Rich buffet breakfast each morning
*One (1) welcome dinner
*Four (4) cooking classes with lunch or dinner afterwards (with wine, Vinsanto and grappa)
*Guided tour of the abbey
*Apron, recipes, diploma
NON-RESIDENTIAL DAY COOKING CLASS
*Guided tour of the abbey
*Three hour cooking lesson
*Lunch with water, wines, coffee and grappa
Airfare, city tax (€1.50/night per person), transfers to/from the property, personal expenses, laundry services, phone calls, mini bar consumption, fax, extra tours not included in the program.
For further inquiries or to register, click here.
Please contact us for cancellation policy information. Travel insurance is highly recommended.
Neda M., Beverly Hills, California"My daughter & I had an absolutely wonderful time on our cooking trip to Italy. The location was dreamy, the food was incredible, the instructor was amazing and very accommodating, the owner of the property was very welcoming. All in all this was a very special trip and we will cherish the memories for years to come!"
Susan B., Wenonah, New Jersey
"Dear Jo-Ann – I am so very glad we crossed paths. We had a wonderful time on our one day cooking experience. We could not have asked for better hosts. I have already recommended Active Gourmet Holidays to others."
Maureen S., Rumford, Maine
"Dear Jo-Ann - The cooking class was extraordinary. Guido was very personable, a great chef, just a lot of fun. We prepared a wonderful lunch and were served wonderful wines from Coltibouno. I enjoy your newsletter and forward it to my sister. Thanks for your expertise."
Singapore"When it's time to completely switch off - from the beeping handphone, Blackberry, the Google alerts, and tune into solitude, take the turn off that says Badia a Coltibuono. Tucked away off the main road somewhere between Florence and Sienna and amidst some of the most God blessed places on earth, this retreat promises time to unwind, eat, drink and simply feast on the loveliness of the Tuscan countryside. If you are prepared to "slow food" your lunch at half past 2 in the afternoon you will enjoy the cooking program they offer.Here, resident chef, Andrea, makes you roll up your sleeves, slice, dice and make your own pasta, in a fun and entertaining but 'you will learn something' way. Not for the clock watchers, those uptight with keeping to the schedule and in a hurry!"
This exciting region is depicted below. You can also access Google MapsTM by clicking HERE.
*In some cases mapping may give clients a general sense of location due to changes in venue. Please inquire about specific location.